Dr. Adam Teichman of PA Foot and Ankle Associates (in Allentown, Easton, Northampton and Lansford) has special expertise in working with marathoners. PA Foot and Ankle Associates has become the referral center in the the Lehigh Valley for marathon runners with foot, ankle and leg problems. We treat marathoners every week of the year especially during training for the Lehigh Valley Health Network Marathon for Via.
Marathoners place tremendous force on their feet. Most of the foot, ankle and leg problems we see are due to increased force. In some people this is due to abnormal biomechanics of their feet and in others it is because they simply weigh too much. In marathoners, problems occur due to the repetitive pounding over the months of training. In fact, during a 10-mile run, the feet make 15,000 strikes, at a force of three to four times the body’s weight. Even if you have perfect foot mechanics, injuries are common with this much stress.
Before Marathon Training
Whether you are training for your first marathon or your fortieth, make an appointment to see us for a complete pre-marathon lower extremity evaluation prior to starting your training. Be sure to bring your running shoes and running shorts and any orthotics or arch supports you wear to this appointment. We will evaluate your biomechanics, gait, injury history, foot structure and running shoes. After the evaluation we will provide you with the information and treatment you need to allow injury free training and marathons.
Injuries during Marathon Training
If you are already training and are having foot, ankle, knee or leg pain, make an appointment to see us right away in our Allentown office. Tell our receptionist that you are training for a marathon and we will try to get you in as soon as possible so we can help you avoid interrupting your training schedule.
Orthotics for Marathoners
Custom orthotics can help prevent injuries by decreasing the extreme forces placed on the feet in people training for marathons. In most cases, orthotics for marathoners should conform almost perfectly to the arch of the foot. These are called total contact orthotics and act to spread force over the entire bottom surface of the foot in order to prevent excessive pressure on any one part of the foot.
Studies show that additional cushioning on an orthotic can significantly decrease impact forces on the foot and leg in runners. So, regardless of the type of orthotic we prescribe for your specific problem, if you plan on using the orthotic for running, especially marathons, we will add some very specific cushioning modifications designed to decrease force on your lower extremity
Because of the extreme forces placed on the feet, even marathoners with relatively normal foot mechanics may benefit from custom orthotics. At the very least, most marathoners should be wearing high-quality over-the-counter arch supports. We can help you determine which type of support is best for you.
If you think you might be a candidate for custom orthotics, see us as soon as possible. You will need time to work into using new orthotics. We will work with you to provide a break-in schedule.
Dr. Adam J. Teichman
PA Foot and Ankle Associates